Roundup: Track team strong in Texas


Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Saturday was a day of falling records and personal bests as eight Gators and the women’s 4x400 meter relay earned victories on the final day of the Texas A&M Challenge.

Senior multi-event athlete Gray Horn picked up where he left off on Friday, setting a new Florida record in the heptathlon of 5,971 points.

The Ohio native started with a first place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.09. He then took top-three finishes in the pole vault (3rd - 4.66m/15-3.50) and the 1,000m (2nd - 2:44.09) to tally 5,971 points over the course of the meet.

Kemal Mesic set a new Florida record in the shot put, registering an NCAA automatic qualifying throw of 20.31m/66-7.75 on Saturday. Mesic’s mark stands as the best mark in the NCAA this season and a new Gilliam Indoor Track record.

Sean Obinwa hit an NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 800 meters, sprinting his way to the second fastest time in Florida history with a personal best 1:47.22, finishing second in the event.

Ebony Eutsey won the women’s 400 meters with a personal best 53.38, good for ninth all-time in Florida history.

The Gators swept the high jump on Saturday as Dwight Barbiasz and Taylor Burke claimed the high jump titles with jumps of 2.16m/7-1 and 1.74m/5-8.50, respectively.

The Florida women’s 4x400 meter relay won the Texas A&M Challenge with a time of 3:36.72. The relay team comprised of Alishea Usery, Lanie Whittaker, Ugonna Ndu and Ebony Eutsey.

The Gators also swept the weight throw titles as Fidela James won the women’s weight throw with a mark of 19.49m/63-11.5. Jeremy Postin teamed up with James for the sweep of the weight throw titles, earning his victory with a throw of 20.04m/65-9. Omar Craddock won the men’s long jump title with a personal best leap of 7.49m/24-7.

On the women’s side, the SEC won the Texas A&M Challenge with 216 points. The Big 12 came in second with 214 points and the Pac 12 ranked third with 178 points. On the men’s side, the Big 12 won with 277.75 points overall. The Pac 12 came in second with 227.25 points and the SEC ranked third with 164.50 points.

MEN’S TENNIS: Fifth-ranked Florida posted a 7-0 victory over New Mexico Saturday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in the opening round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.

The Gators will face Wake Forest at 1 p.m. today with a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 17-20 at the University of Virginia on the line.

UF swept doubles for the second straight match. Billy Federhofer and Nassim Slilam, the No. 4-ranked doubles pair in the nation, opened with an 8-3 win over the 16th-ranked duo of Jadon Phillips and Phil Anderson from New Mexico. Bob van Overbeek and Andrew Butz clinched the doubles point for the Gators against Carl Ho and James Hignett after Butz held serve to win 8-3.

Frank Carleton and Spencer Newman completed the doubles sweep, breaking Ben Dunbar and Conor Berg in the final game for the 8-4 win. Singles action started off fast, with UF taking the first set in five matches relatively quickly.

SWIMMING: Florida split against Tennessee at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center, with the No. 7 Gator men defeating the No. 20 Volunteers 162-138, and the No. 2 Gator women falling to the No. 10 Volunteers, 120-178.

With the win, the men end the season without suffering a loss in dual competition in the 2011-12 season with a 6-0-1 record, and improve to 3-0-1 against SEC opponents heading into the conference championships Feb. 15-18, also in Knoxville, Tenn. The women’s loss to the Vols ends its dual season with an 8-1 overall, and 5-2 SEC record.

It is the first time in program history that the women’s squad lost to Tennessee. The men won eight races, and went on to sweep two events, as the women claimed three event titles on the day.

Last week’s SEC Male Swimmer of the week, Marcin Cieslak, led the Gators with three individual wins. He combined to sweep both fly events for the second straight week, and claim his third 200 fly title in seven consecutive meets to remain undefeated on the year in the event, completing the 100 and 200 fly in 47.77 and 1:48.49, respectively. Cieslak also touched the wall in 1:37.65 to lead all swimmers in the 200 free.

Sarah Bateman and Brad deBorde combined to take the top spot for the men and women, respectively, in both the 50 and 100 free. Elizabeth Beisel got first in the 200 back (1:56.15). Other first-place finishers for UF included Teresa Crippen in the 200 individual medley (2:00.88) and Jason Taylor in the 1,000 free (9:16.64).

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